Archive for October, 2013

Decorative Gourds

A bag full of decorative mini pumpkins and gourds plus paint and glitter glue….

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We had a big Halloween-y Saturday.  We picked apples and made caramel apples, then we carved our spooky Jack-O-Lanterns, and followed it all with popcorn and a viewing of Wallace and Grommit’s Curse of the Wererabbit, our Halloween tradition.  It was a lot of fun.  Words cannot describe how excited Finn is for Halloween this year and he is enjoying getting into the spooky spirit.  Both kids were hesitant to dig into the pumpkin innards, but Finn did a great job drawing his both his and Josette’s scary faces and carving them himself (I love those carving kits with the reasonably safe carving tools!).  Looking forward to much fun this week as we gear up for Halloween.

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Tin Lanterns

Finn did this very fun craft from here.  He had a lot of fun.  First, he “freestyled” a design and then we worked on drawing a pumkin face together.  He enjoyed hammering all the holes and didn’t require any assistance.  The result when we lighted them up was very festive and fun.

October 2013 270October 2013 275

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Leaf Walks

I saw a meme the other day that said, “My favorite color is October.”  It truly is breathtaking right now and we have been getting out walking as often as possible.  Finn loves to race around trying to catch the leaves as they fall.  Both Josie and Finn take great pleasure in throwing leaves at me.  Lily loves to run and sniff and swim as always.  We have been collecting our favorite leaves and pressing them in wax paper to create lovely window displays in our house.

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Weekly Garden Post

Well, I am calling it the weekly garden post, but it has been quite awhile since I did a garden post.  Coming back from vacation, I have been neglecting the garden.  It has been beautiful fall weather and we have gone into winter preparation mode and the garden has gone on the backburner, yet there is still much gardening to be done.  First, we harvested the last of our corn.  We had eaten most of the sweet corn, but we were excited to find our popcorn had dried and was ready for harvest.  We didn’t get nearly as much as I would have liked, but it is such a fun variety, strawberry popcorn so named for the shape and color of the ears.  The kids had a lot of fun peeling the husks and finding the bright red grain.  Finn then enjoyed cutting down all the stalks to use for decoration.  While we were cutting, we found a few ears of sweet corn that we had missed and those became great chicken treats.

Speaking of chickens, they are loving their freedom now that the free range everyday.  They are going through their yearly fall molt and look rather ragged.  They have also seriously decreased egg production, which I am missing a lot.  I hope they ramp up again soon.  In the mean time, they are such fun to have in the yard as we are playing and the kids often pick them up.

This isn’t really related to our garden, but pilfering from our wonderful neighbors’ garden, we are in the apples!  Just behind our house, they have 5 very large apple trees and almost daily we are out collecting.  We are eating fresh and baking pies and making applesauce galore.  Today, I have some apple butter going in the crockpot.  I have a recipe for caramel apple jam that is in the near future.  And, we have been pressing them for cider as often as possible.  Speaking of cider, we tried our hard cider this past weekend and it was wonderful!  We will be getting more of that going for sure!

We finally just harvested the rest of our winter squash.  I was so pleased with the greek sweet red butternut variety as I watched huge squash grow, but they were very slow to turn the deep gold skin pictured on the seed pack.  Some of them were developing that color and then the vines just dried up and we had to pick them.  The rest seemed to be a mix of gold and green.  I waited and waited, until it looked like we were going to have a frost and figured, it was time.  So, we got the whole lot out.  We ended up with 15 huge ones.  We made a wonderful stew from one of them the other night and it seems the flavor is very good even without complete ripening and the color inside is a beautiful orange.  These were definitely the most resistant to the squash pests we had this year and this is the first time we have ever been successful with winter squash so it is a win. These will be going into the garden next year.  We ate our only large spaghetti squash to not succumb to bugs and that was quite good too.  And we have sampled several of the pie pumpkins we grew and those were great too.  Hooray, finally winter squash!

I still have an amazing amount of jalapenos and hot peppers in the garden and I need to get those harvested and turned into hot sauce.  We are harvesting peas which mostly consists of the kids eating them in the garden.  I have some carrots that might turn into something.  And, lastly, we need to get garlic in before the winter.  Other than that, it is pulling plants and turning in some compost to winterize the garden and looking forward to February seed catalogs in front of the woodfire after a good snowshoe!

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Leaf Pile

Kids and dogs love a good leaf pile.

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Tinker Toy Catapult

Guaranteed to keep a little boy entertained for a very long time!  Got the idea here.

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